Retailer Reitmans turns $4.4M profit in fourth quarter; same-store sales higher

MONTREAL – Reitmans (Canada) Ltd. (TSX:RET:A) says its posted a profit in its most recent quarter, reversing a loss in the comparable period a year ago amid an improvement in margins and same-store sales.

The Montreal-based womenswear retailer said net earnigns in the three months ended Jan. 31 were $4.4 million or seven cents per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $2.6 million or four cents per share in the three months ended February 1 last year.

The increase was primarily attributable to improved gross margins in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 combined with reduced operating costs both at the store level and head office, the company said in a release issued after markets closed.

Sales were $236.3 million, down from $240.7 million in the year-earlier period amid a net reduction of 55 stores as the company closed underperforming locations and converted or closed Smart Set stores.

Same-store sales, an important metric in the retail business, increased by 2.1 per cent, with mall and power centre store sales decreasing 0.6 per cent and e-commerce sales increasing 84.9 per cent.

Reitmans operates 823 stores across Canada consisting of 341 Reitmans, 139 Penningtons, 105 Addition Elle, 76 RW & CO., 68 Thyme Maternity and 94 Smart Set. The Company also operates 21 Thyme Maternity shop-in-shop boutiques in select Babies”R”Us locations in Canada.